3 Good Things: Monarch hospitality, corporate largesse and the subject of ‘Serial’ flies free

Karlotta Freier / For The Times


Helping butterflies

Mister Rogers taught us that if we see something sad on the news, we should “look for the helpers.” Well, this year monarch butterflies were declared endangered. Now we know where to look for the helpers, and even how to join them. A reader sent a note to 3 Good Things recently to tell us that many organizations nationwide are giving away milkweed plants or seeds, so we can provide more food and habitats for migrating monarchs in the years ahead. The reader specifically mentioned the Monarch Recovery Project, organized in part by the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy in Southern California. That project not only gives away milkweed plants but also tracks where the plants end up and how they’re doing. The next round of milkweed distribution will be in the spring. Monarchs should begin arriving in force in Southern California in just a few weeks.

Donating billions

Patagonia, the Ventura-based maker of outdoor apparel, is pioneering a bold business move. It’s still a for-profit, but its profits are no longer for the family that built it. Last month they gave the $3-billion company to a nonprofit and a trust, which will invest the profit — about $100 million a year — in environmental causes, especially preserving undeveloped land. Yvon and Malinda Chouinard and their children Fletcher and Claire instantly became one of the most generous families in the nation, and the planet gained a long-term ally.


Pursuing justice

You know a conviction is messy if even the prosecutors want to vacate it and start over. That’s what happened this week in the case of Adnan Syed, the Baltimore man who has served 23 years in prison for a 1999 slaying and whose case became famous in the first season of the podcast “Serial.” He was freed on Monday.

And one more ...

The iPhone update that rolled out this month has some new privacy protections worth exploring. You can now share a contact with a third party but not share everything you’ve saved about that contact, such as their home address. Sneaky apps can no longer read your clipboard surreptitiously. And there’s a new feature called Safety Check that will prompt users to review app permissions and will encourage occasionally changing one’s Apple ID password.

A weekly feature aiming to provide some relief from doomscrolling.

May 6, 2022